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ISBA, the body which represents British advertisers, has criticised health campaigners for using advertising firms as a 'scapegoat' for the nation's obesity problem.

The Children's Food Campaign recently launched a new report which called for bans on adverts promoting 'junk food' online, but Ian Twinn, director of public affairs at ISBA, has spoke out against health campaigners who are advocating bans.

'Despite there being only a nominal causal link between ads and food choices, for a decade we have seen a disproportionate amount of attention from campaigners on how we advertise food, even though there are already strict rules in place, especially regarding marketing to children,' explained Twinn during a seminar at Liverpool University this week

His comments go against the recent assessment of The Children's Food Campaign,with its Through The Looking Glass report claiming that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is 'failing' in its role to protect children.

“Now more than ever, parents could use a strong helping hand in dealing with the online world and protecting their children from commercial interests,' saidMalcolm Clark, coordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign.

However, Twinn says that the UK has more restrictions on adverts than other countries in Europe, including the likes of France and Italy, yet obesity levels still remain at a higher level.

Twinn believes that education rather than 'finger pointing' will be the best way to lower Britain's high obesity levels. He concluded: 'We must also look at the root causes of obesity and push through educational change in our schools to help capitalise on already falling obesity rates among the young.”